Arizona Dream

In a 2002 interview with producer Claudie Ossard, Johnny Depp recalls his role as Axel Blackmar in 1993’s ARIZONA DREAM as “a great memory, and a great experience …a great education.” Working with visionary director Emir Kusturica was a painstaking process that involved considerable amounts of on-set improvisation and a script that was rewritten, Johnny says, “every night” to capture the strengths of its brilliant cast, which includes Faye Dunaway, Lili Taylor, Jerry Lewis, and Vincent Gallo.

Although ARIZONA DREAM met with critical acclaim in Europe, winning a Special Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival, the film played at only a few art houses in the United States; American Depp fans found it almost impossible to locate a copy until the Warner Archive Collection finally released ARIZONA DREAM on DVD and digital download in March 2010. That’s great news, because ARIZONA DREAM remains as fresh and surprising as the day it was shot: a vivid, touching, and frequently uproarious vision of a young man’s coming-of-age that deserves to be widely seen. Big box office numbers should not be the only measure of a film’s success, Johnny Depp tells Claudie Ossard: “Who cares about the numbers when you’re able to be involved in […] something as magical as this?”

--Part-Time Poet







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